Clerks cited for selling to minors |

Clerks cited for selling to minors

Tribune staff report

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department (SLTPD) cited two clerks for selling alcohol to minors on On Dec. 5. The actions were the result of a minor decoy operation in which minors under the direct supervision of officers, attempted to purchase alcohol from 33 retail licensees in the City of South Lake Tahoe.

Those who sold to the minor face a minimum fine of $250, and/or 24 to 32 hours of community service for a first violation. In addition, Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) will take administrative action against the alcoholic beverage license of the business. That may include a fine, a suspension of the license, or the permanent revocation of the license.

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department is conducting the compliance checks to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors. According to the SLTPD, statistics have shown thoseyounger than 21 have a higher rate of drunken driving fatalities than the general adult population.

Minor decoy operations have been conducted by local law enforcement throughout the state since the 1980s. When the program first began, the violation rate of retail establishments selling to minors was as high as 40- to 50- percent. When conducted on a routine basis, the rate has dropped in some cities as low as 10 percent or below, according to SLPD.

In 1994, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that use of underage decoys is a valid tool of law enforcement to ensure that licensees are complying with the law.

This project is part of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s Minor Decoy / Shoulder Tap Grant Project, funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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